Multiple NEW MUTANTS delays keep the project stuck in development limbo. Originally scheduled for release on April 13, 2018, the darker X-MEN horror movie is set to come out nearly two years later on April 3, 2020. Fox’s merger with Disney and Marvel’s plans to reboot the X-Men plays a significant role in the film’s fate. NEW MUTANTS is a complete disaster that is going to fail even before it hits its release date.

History on the Production and Delays on THE NEW MUTANTS

New Mutant Slate that represents delays
Courtesy of IMDB

The idea for a NEW MUTANTS film adaptation has been in development since 2015. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS director, Josh Boone, was hired by Fox to direct from a script he wrote with his longtime friend, Knate Lee. Boone and Lee were eager to bring a new and creative story to the X-MEN universe. Even one of the comic’s authors, Bill Sienkiewicz, gave his support by praising the first draft of their script. Everything appeared to be going great so far for the project. Pre-production on the film went smoothly. Filming for the film was set at a smaller budget shot on location at Medfield State Hospital. The filming finished in a little over two months, where the first big concern with the project came to the surface.

Courtesy of Hype MY

Boone shared his dissatisfaction with how his complete horror ideas remained neutered down. As the professional that he is, though, he submitted a cut of the film that delighted Fox. The film was then shown at some test screenings. Audiences gave the same level of praise as with the original DEADPOOL. At this rate, the film was on track to make its April 13, 2018 release date. However, the studio was starting to doubt the film after the release of another massive horror movie.

Too Afraid of Competition

As NEW MUTANTS was in the editing stage, the reimaging of the Stephen King classic, IT, released with critical and financial success. The hard-R-rated horror movie received praise for its disturbing imagery and genuine scares. While editing THE NEW MUTANTS first trailer, the scarier elements were on display to sell it as a straight-up horror movie. Ironically, Boone’s initial vision ended up being precisely what Fox eventually sold the film as after the success of IT.

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

This report of Fox’s influence by the success of IT shows their lack of faith in their original NEW MUTANTS vision. Test audiences praised the original cut as being on the same quality level as DEADPOOL. There was no need for Fox to mess with an already completed project. Fox’s meddling with NEW MUTANTS completely derailed and delayed it from being a hit in 2018. With a new focus on horror, NEW MUTANTS was pushed back to February 22, 2019.

Fox intends to make the final product even more frightening. The first of many NEW MUTANTS delays occurred as the studio needed more time to make the film right. Fox also intends to distance itself from their other X-MEN property released in the same window. Yet, pushing back the release ten months is less about competing with DEADPOOL 2 and more about messing with the nearly complete film to make it more of a horror movie.

Allow NEW MUTANTS to Stand Up for Itself

DEADPOOL 2 and NEW MUTANTS are in two separate genres that happen to be aiming for a mature audience. A couple of months in between movies would not mess with either of their box office returns. If this delay is due to the two films’ close release dates, then NEW MUTANTS could have been pushed to August 2018 rather than February 2019. Marvel Studios has proven that two entries in the same franchise can be released months apart without overlapping. AVENGERS: ENDGAME can come out in late April followed by SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME in less than three months. An August 2018 release for NEW MUTANTS would have been enough space away from DEADPOOL 2 for both films to make money.

Dark Phoenix beat New Mutants after so many delays
Courtesy of Geek Tyrant

Fox’s dissatisfaction with their initial version of the film becomes even more apparent with the announcement of the second delay on the release date. In March of 2018, NEW MUTANTS was pushed back again from its February 2019 release date to August 2, 2019. Fox’s other X-MEN movie, DARK PHOENIX, had plans for a February 2019 release at the time, but the move initially was not a problem for NEW MUTANTS. However, DARK PHOENIX eventually was pushed to June 7, 2019. NEW MUTANTS could have quickly been brought back to its February 2019 release if competition between films was the only issue.

The primary reason for the multiple delays has been due to dissatisfaction with the current state of the project. The reshoots that delayed NEW MUTANTS has escalated to an uncalled for level, with Fox now wanting at least half of the film reshot. Everyone involved wants NEW MUTANTS to be the best possible version. However, it has reached a point of embarrassing decision making on the project.

Not Even the Main Stars Know What’s Going On With NEW MUTANTS Delays

Reshoots for the film were expected to take place in September 2018. Producer Simon Kinberg confirmed when talking about the reshoots that the main priority is to make the movie more scary based on audience feedback on the first trailer. As unconventional as it is to reshoot half of a film to give it a more frightening tone, it would have at least gotten the project moving again. Unfortunately, reshoots have not yet taken place as of March 2019 according to the Hollywood Reporter. For your reference, AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR’s shooting schedule completed within that same timeframe. The reshoots on the X-MEN movie alone make for an incompetent production. A six-month window of expected reshoots indeed indicates that Fox and the crew have a minimal idea on what to do with the project.

New Mutants delays causes Maisie Williams to scream
Courtesy of 20th Century Fox/Disney

The delayed and unreliable information on NEW MUTANTS frustrates both fans and the film’s cast and crew. In an interview with Rolling Stone, NEW MUTANTS star Maise Williams expressed her frustration about when the film will come out. The young actress has had to sit on her big screen debut for quite a while now.

Disney and Marvel Have Little Use for the Movie Anymore

The final delay for NEW MUTANTS is entirely done through the executive decision at Disney. Many people were predicting that the troubled film would be thrown onto Disney’s streaming service. So, fans were surprised to see NEW MUTANTS on Disney’s list of upcoming theatrical releases. However, another delay from its August 2019 date comes as the current plan for NEW MUTANTS to hit theaters is now April 2020.

This year’s DARK PHOENIX advertises as the X-Men’s final battle. The current X-MEN continuity is coming to a close. NEW MUTANTS is a relic of the past before it even releases thanks to its many delays. As a dark horror film, NEW MUTANTS would not fit in with Disney’s more family-friendly MCU. The movie is stuck between a past X-MEN continuity and the successful MCU not welcoming its horrific tone. Releasing NEW MUTANTS in theaters at this point is a massive mistake for Disney with minimal benefits to gain.

Courtesy of Geek Tyrant

The troubled production to lead to the many NEW MUTANTS delays can compare to another Marvel movie from Fox. Take a look back at 2015’s FANTASTIC FOUR; it was a complete disaster from start to finish. Fox’s interference against director Josh Trank’s vision of making it darker led to an unfinished and messy final product. NEW MUTANTS is likely going to go down the same path no matter the quality of the reshoots.

Fox’s current version is irrelevant to the expansive universe of the MCU. NEW MUTANTS should be released onto Disney’s streaming service and allow everyone working on the film to move on.

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